Clariel is not adjusting well to life in the city of Belisaere after moving there with her parents for her mothers work and she dreams of returning to the forests of Estwael. In the city she feels trapped and confined by the politics of society but that’s the least of her problems when a Free Magic creature is spotted around the city. It is her chance to prove herself, to escape from the city and make her own path but things don’t always turn out the way she wished for.
It was great to return to the Old Kingdom series as Clariel is a prequel to the original trilogy set 600 years before Sabriel. It’s was great to see the connections between the books and how the Old Kingdom as a country has changed in the time inbetween the two books. This Old Kingdom doesn’t have respect for the royal family or for the power of the Charter and the Abhorsen meaning that many people don’t believe in it and think of the Charter as something unseemly and something not to be used by respected citizens.